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Chuck Haven

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Chuck Haven last won the day on August 10 2022

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About Chuck Haven

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  • Military Rank
    Lt. Colonel (retired)

Previous Fields

  • Service Connected Disability
    100%
  • Branch of Service
    Army
  • Hobby
    Golf, chess, reading and travel

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  1. Mr. Borozinski Sir - as pointed out earlier, a local VSO can be very useful. You will find them in Tucson and Phoenix. No fee for VSO assistance. Some are very knowledgeable about vet law and claims process.... others not so much. That's my experience. Others may have a different view. I have extensive experience helping vets in my local VFW and American Legion. Call me and I will be glad to hear your situation and offer help if I can. Chuck 908-310-2569. PS - if you don't have your VA C-file request a copy ASAP. Best,
  2. GB Army is spot on with his response. Having been through the cancer rodeo I'd reinforce the importance of any side effects you may be experiencing from treatment (chemo, radiation, immunotherapy, etc). These issues (if any) could lead to rated secondary disabilities by the VA. All the best to you,
  3. VA always gets time to implement new legislation. Some demographics will get immediate assistance. Timeline for all show below from the PACT Act. ================================================================================ (1) On the date of the enactment of this Act for claimants for dependency and indemnity compensation under chapter 13 of title 38, United States Code, and veterans whom the Secretary of Veterans Affairs determines are— (A) terminally ill; (B) homeless; (C) under extreme financial hardship; (D) more than 85 years old; or (E) capable of demonstrating other sufficient cause. (2) On the date of the enactment of this Act for everyone not described in paragraph (1), with respect to paragraphs (1), (2)(C), (2)(I), (5), (6), (7), (8), (9), (10), (11), (12), (13), and (14), of section 1120(b) of title 38, United States Code, as added by subsection (b). (3) On October 1, 2023, for everyone not described in paragraph (1), with respect to paragraphs (3) and (4) of section 1120(b) of such title, as so added. (4) On October 1, 2024, for everyone not described in paragraph (1), with respect to subparagraphs (A), (B), (D), (E), (F), (G), and (K) of section 1120(b)(2) of such title, as so added. (5) On October 1, 2025, for everyone not described in paragraph (1), with respect to subparagraphs (H) and (J) of section 1120(b)(2) of such title, as so added.
  4. I did a fairly thorough search and could not find any new legislation concerning effective dates and retropay. The route to an earlier effective date (and more retropay): (1) File and win a CUE claim or (2) Presenting new and material evidence that would have impacted the initial decision had it been in front of the rating official. Attached is a great presentation on the intricacies of determining effective dates. Effective Date Webinar VSO.pdf
  5. I suggest you read the attached VA fact sheet on benefits and eligibility if you have a OTH discharge. There is also a process for requesting an upgrade to your discharge but it will generally take more than a year to get a decision. Best of luck to you, COD_Factsheet.pdf
  6. The BVA is overwhelmed and not effectively managed in my opinion. 1200 employees - 108 judges, 850 lawyers and 250 admin personnel. With respect to productivity each judge has 7 lawyers supporting her workload and the board generated 99,000 decisions. 240 workdays in a year = 412 decisions a day or 3.8 decisions per judge / team per day (each team = 8 lawyers including the judge). Work hours involved with each decision = 15 and that assumes no effort from admin staff. Hmmmmm. I think the BVA could increase efficiency by making one very simple change. Have a team immediately screen every case with the phrase or words CUE (clear and unmistakable errors). Then do a quick search to see if the CUE claim was adjudicated by a region office or DROC. If not, IMMEDIATELY remand the appeal back to a regional office because they have no option other than remand. Instead, the BVA will let CUE cases flow thru the normal docket process only to remand the case 12-18 months later. Huge disservice to the vet; huge contributor to ongoing backlog. Or maybe these folks want it this way. Guarantees job security.... If you want some insight into some of the shenanigans at the BVA in the past, Google BVA Judge Kordich testimony to Congress in 2014. Have some pepto bismol ready when you watch it. Tragic on too many levels.
  7. Issues with the spine - cervical or lumbar (back) is one of the disabilities where the VA makes the most mistakes in rating decisions. See attached report from the VA OIG for some excellent detail on how secondary conditions (e.g. radiculopathy) or often missed during VA C&P exams .... and because these conditions are missed, vets are being underpaid. I'd do some homework ... you may have a winnable CUE claim if the VA failed to rate your condition properly. VAOIG-18-05663-189 spine eval.pdf
  8. Chronic pain is subjective for sure - tough to diagnose and treat. I would consider seeing a doctor for fibromyalgia. If you served in Southwest Asia this disability is presumptive. Max rating is 40% under diagnostic code 5025. Requires a rheumatologist diagnosis. Do your homework on the disease and symptoms before seeing the doctor. Then you can have a productive discussion....
  9. Broncovet is dead bang on with his comment and analysis of cost / benefit regarding attorneys and VSOs. In Georgetown, Texas (near Austin) the entire VSO staff (6 employees) were "let go" recently. My experience with that team revealed: (1) They didn't understand the complexities of vet law; (2) They couldn't do effective case research at BVA or CAVC websites; (3) They didn't understand BVA decisions were not precedential; (4) They had not read VA Manual 21 or if they did read it they didn't really understand it. Bottom-line: Impossible to get meaningful advice or effective representation from this office. I'm sure there are good VSOs around the country but none of them landed in this county. We will see how the next bunch performs as I help local vets from American Legion and VFW navigate the VA swamp.
  10. Linkedin.com can also be a very valuable resource for locating senior executives in the VA. You have to join to get access to search functionality. The cost? ZERO. Give it a shot.
  11. The 50% allowance is divided between all dependent children. So your remaining dependent daughter is now entitled to the full 50% of your allowance. To be safe, contact the SSA to revalidate your dependent status.
  12. Would be interested in the community's thoughts about this situation. Lots of smart folks on this site Value all insights. The situation: 80% since 1 Nov 98. Win CUE and rating changes to 100% effective 1 Nov 98. I know ... nice check coming. The questions: (1) This 24 year gap straddles the era of pre CRDP and CRDP / phase in. Do various onsite retro-pay calculators consider the impact of CRDP legislation in calculations? (2) There are also tax implications for the pre CRDP payments but one cannot submit an amended tax return after 7 years. Thoughts on this? Anyone know of a case where a Vet has pursued a claim for missed tax savings during pre-CRDP era due to CUE retro-pay?
  13. The rater cannot make a decision / finding without seeing medical evidence (in person C&P exam or ACE process) OR LAY EVIDENCE. If you've provided a significant amount of lay evidence, the rater has to consider the probative value of that evidence. However, this is a slippery slope with lots of precedential case law you can research at http://search.uscourts.cavc.gov/. Generally speaking, refusing a VA medical exam (even though the VA may be "developing to deny" your claim) will work against you. Good luck. Chuck
  14. The language in the remand to the BVA is critical. If the Court sends the case back to the BVA for "further development" this opens the door for the VA to introduce other reasons / bases to deny the claim. There is some decent detail on how the VA is supposed to handle Court remands in VA Manual 21-5 Chapter 7. Good luck. Chuck
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